NEMO Tensor Insulated/Ultralight Sleeping Pad

9.8 score
[Editors rating (9.8)] = ( score (9.8)/10

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Editor rating: 9.8 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
You will have to excuse me as I gush over this ultra-light, ultra-compact and ultra-comfortable insulated sleeping pad from the revolutionary NEMO 2019 Tenor series. NEMO people are outdoors people. You know it. I know it. NEMO certainly know it. The well-researched and well-designed products have the backcountry adventurer in mind as they provide comfort, warmth, and convenience while keeping weight minimal.

The research and design initiative employed in the manufacture of NEMO’s newest sleeping mat is evident in the quality and comfort it provides the sleeper. On the face of it, this may simply look like another sleeping pad, but this is anything but. The science and technology that has gone into creating this pad makes it superior to other brands on the market, and the pad’s features demonstrate this. This insulated pad is many things; compact, quiet, easily inflated and deflated, moisture-proof, thick, comfortable, warm, quiet, and roomy.

NEMO’s Tensor insulated pad will keep you warmer, drier, and more comfortable than any other mat, without adding extra weight to your pack. NEMO claims this to be the ‘lightest, ‘most technical sleeping pad series’ they have designed, and I quite agree.
Carry on reading to find out more about the brilliant features of this sleeping pad.
NEMO Tensor Insulated/Ultralight Sleeping Pad Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons


Superior technology

Super comfy and warm

Lightweight and compact

Easy deflation and inflation


Potential low R-value of 3.5

Might not be affordable for all


Ease of Use

This insulated sleeping mat stands out from its competition for several reasons, but let’s start with the super-fast and easy inflation. The introduction of the new, included Vortex pump saves your breath and time as it inflates in minutes, which is essential when you’re exhausted or are setting up camp at elevation. This genius bit of extra kit also minimizes moisture entering the pad.

Even better, inflation and deflation are made easier with the introduction of the new Laylow zero-profile, micro-adjustable valve for ultra-functionality. This valve is flush to the pad and makes inflating or deflating a dream.


The quiet, supported sleep you get with this pad surprisingly doesn’t come at a sacrifice to the size or weight. This pad is compact and ultra-light, which is essential if you are planning on wild camping in the backcountry.

For camping off-trail, you’ll likely be taking all your kit on your back. Wild camping can often involve hiking long distances to get to your destination, which is not fun if you have an unnecessarily heavy pack. NEMO calls this ‘ultimate backcountry adventurer’s best friend,’ and I have to agree. At 425g for the regular mat and rolling into the size of a 1L water bottle (yes, even the wide version), you’ll hardly notice it in your pack.


One of the biggest selling factors is the comfort this pad provides. What’s the point in a sleeping pad if it’s not comfortable? NEMO has spent a lot of time and money researching the key elements needed to make this clever piece of adventuring kit the most comfortable.

The technology that makes this sleeping pad special is the 3 inches of secure, padded loft, suspended film construction, low-stretch die-cut trusses and Spaceframe™ baffles technology. But what do these things do? I’ll tell you, many things!

You’ll get further unparalleled stability, optimum weight distribution and no springiness; you’ll be sleeping comfortably with your elbows and hips safely off the ground, no matter the ground you’ve decided to set up camp on. You’ll get absolute quiet, even for those that move around a lot. Try it and tell me it’s not as comfortable as your mattress at home.


Don't let the lack of R-value put you off when deciding to buy this mat, as it has a temperature range of -12 to -7 degrees Celsius. If you think about it, this is quite impressive if you consider the low weight and compact pack size. Due to the two metal films which give the pad an insulated R-Value of 3.5, you’ll be able to use this in three seasons.


NEMO products are made to endure, and you can tell just by looking at the material. Learning the design and manufacturing technology that has gone into designing this mat also provides confidence in the durability of the pad you’re buying.

If you’re still worried about spending this much on a sleeping pad, rest assured that NEMO is completely confident, and that’s why they provide a lifetime warranty on all their products. I’m sure it will last you for hundreds and hundreds of campouts, but with this warranty, what do you have to lose?


Ok, I know this sleeping pad may come at a luxury price, but you do get a luxury experience with its super flush 20D Polyester construction. The threads are treated with a pressurized air process that softens fibers before they are woven into the fabric, providing a very comfortable material to sleep on. This fabric, combined with the insulated design of 2 layers of suspended Thermal Mirror™ metalized film also allows for a lighter carry.

I like appreciate how conscientious NEMO are as a brand. The packaging is made from recycled materials; so, you can sleep a little better knowing you’ve bought from a company that cares about the environment.

Comparison to Similar Sleeping Pads

The NEMO lightweight sleeping pad is available in regular, regular wide and long wide sizes, so make sure to consider your size and sleeping habits when purchasing. The wider pad makes a huge difference if you turn in your sleep a lot. The rectangular shape also provides more room, but if you don’t need this extra room you can opt for the mummy-shaped option, which is narrower.

There are no comparisons to this insulated sleeping pad as its technology is miles ahead of the competition, but if you’re looking for something much cheaper, you can look at the Unigear inflatable sleeping pad, R-value 2. It boasts an ergonomic and water repellent design; it's light, comfortable and stable; but only suitable for temperatures at 0℃ and above.

Another great Nemo product we reviewed is the Nemo Switchback Ultralight Sleeping Pad, so make sure to check it out as well.

Another slightly cheaper option is the extra-wide Klymit Static V Luxe sleeping pad, which is best for car camping, travel, and backpacking. The R-Value is lower than the NEMO, and what you get in extra inches for less money, you most definitely lose in comfort and warmth. If you can afford it, I think it’s better to spend a little more on the NEMO Tensor insulated sleeping pad and a lot warmer and comfortable.


There are lots of key factors to consider when choosing a sleeping mat, from pack size to weight, budget, R-Value, thickness, ease of use and the season. This all determines what type of pad you’ll need. Comfort and warmth are two of my biggest factors when choosing a mat and based on this alone, I would 100% recommend this incredibly comfortable, well insulated, and quiet sleeping mat.

The NEMO Tensor ultralight sleeping pad is not only perfect for warm and cool weather camping but is also compact, light and incredibly well designed. I’ll be surprised if its features, and durability don’t leave you incredibly happy with your purchase.